I woke up very groggy this morning. Fortunately, I am married to a man who wakes up alert and ready to go. On Saturday he wanted to find something we could participate in to honor the memory of Dr. King. He found out that the big events in our area had taken place already during the week. One thing that did pop up for today was a joint project between the Snohomish Tribe of Indians, City of Lynnwood, and Leaf School, (Learn-n-serve Environmental Anthropology Field) of Edmonds Community College .
Down the road about a mile and a half from our house there was a big gathering of around 150 people in a park (Gold Park). We were volunteers, pulling up invasive species and then later planting some native plants in the newly cleared areas. It was great to get down and a little dirty pulling up “stinky bob”. We worked a little plot that was full of them. The tribal members showed us a couple of dances, gave us T-shirts and served us lunch that Ivors provided. It felt good to be a part of something. We didn’t have to come up with the idea ourselves, just lend a hand in something big already happening. It was definitely an example of “many hands make light work.” I also am reminded again that small acts of goodness or kindness are very important and add up to make good changes around us.
The area we worked had a big mound in the middle. Our guide told us it probably was the family garbage dump. She pointed out where the main house had probably sat. So interesting to think about a family living there from 1954 to 1982. Dr. Gold with his family and an obstetrics clinic were right there across from where now is the Vietnamese produce store we frequent. We go by it all the time, park across the street to shop and then go on our way home. The park doesn’t look like much from the street. It is so much more than we thought.
In the park besides a forested area, there is an ethno-botanical garden called “Stolja Ali” which means: Place of Medicine. Those were the beds our team was clearing of invasive species. Now the native medicinal plants that the Snohomish Tribal members care for can have a little more breathing space. Maybe there was an additional kind of healing going on today besides the medicinal plants. On a day we remember a man who struggled so hard for people of different races to live together in peace and equality, a healing of hearts took place. We were different kinds of people coming together to do something good for the land. It was healing for me. I learned about plants and met some more of my neighbors. I had a chance to share some old comfy gloves with one woman handing out T-shirts. Her hands were cold and I was about to take those gloves off and put on my work gloves. One of those moments in time when an opportunity arises to do something good. I like days like today when I finally wake up and am alive to these opportunities.